Children of the Holocaust: Stars without a Heaven
JERUSALEM, Israel -- This is Holocaust Remembrance week, 70 years after the Allies opened the Nazi death camps and found the vortex of 6 million Jewish dead.
Today, fewer than 100,000 survivors remain, but Israelis are working hard to keep their memory alive.
It's difficult to grasp the horror and destruction of the Nazi killing machine. One-third of the world's Jews were murdered. The pain and scars endure to the next generation.
David Hershkoviz would hear his mother screaming in her sleep as she relived the agony: a German soldier separated her from her own mother, who died at Auschwitz.
"She didn't speak about the gas chambers because she wasn't there. She didn't speak about the fact that they were burning bodies; she wasn't there. But during the separation she was there, and that separation didn't leave her," he told CBN News, choking back tears.
Hershkoviz's mother died two years ago. But through a "second generation" study course in central Israel, he's keeping her story alive. The Shem Olam Holocaust Institute is educating people like Hershkoviz to tell their stories when the Holocaust survivors are gone.
The Institute's director, Avraham Kreiger, said many children didn't ask tough questions of their parents.
"How did their parents deal with guilt questions during those moments? How did they go through the difficult moments of separation, of leaving, of difficult decisions? They weren't able to ask this and apparently, the parents weren't able to answer," Kreiger told CBN News.
Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Museum tells more stories in an exhibition called "Children in the Holocaust: Stars without a Heaven," with dolls and sketches.
Holocaust survivor Inna Rennet Rehavi's teddy bear is on display. She carried the bear during a remarkable escape with her mother from the train car leading them to Auschwitz.
"Teddy lasted better than I did, and many others. He is more war wounded than I am since he is missing an ear and an arm; but he was a real hero," Rehavi said.